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  •  the mining techniques (1+ / 0-)
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    are different between eastern and western mines due to different geology.

    my read is that the MINER bill is for all/eastern mining.  the S-MINER bill has provisions for the deep underground mining that is used out west.

    this mine was 2-3 thousand feet underground.  and ?a half-mile in from the side.  

    the coal out west lies between the sandstone layers.  

    •  Is that a recent phenomenon? (2+ / 0-)
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      SomeStones, jlms qkw

      If it was being done at a similar level during the Bush 1/Clinton years, it argues for proper enforcement more than a new law.

      If it's a recent growth trend, it could well argue for new regulations and/or a new law.

      One thing is certain:

      Shaft mining never has been and never will be truly safe, but we should make it as safe as we reasonably can.

      People taking a dangerous job should be able to weigh the risks they're taking.  They can't do that when the boss doesn't value their lives.

      •  it's hard to tell with bushco (1+ / 0-)
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        whether it is enforcement, or that they've gutted (through executive and admin crap) previous laws.

        i really don't know.  

      •  Weighing the risks (3+ / 0-)
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        phonegery, SomeStones, jlms qkw

        I think most underground miners are acutely aware of the risks they're taking.  It's a very dangerous job, and I've never heard a miner say anything but.  However, it's good money if you've only got a high school degree, and it's about the only job available in a lot of coal mining areas.  The only truly effective safety measure is a democratic, responsive union that empowers workers to make complaints when they see safety violations.  Without a union, workers still know when the company's cutting corners, but there's nothing they can do without getting fired.  The UMWA is great for organized miners, but they haven't had much success, and probably haven't tried very hard, at organizing non-union mines in the past 15 years.

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